Freeport, The Bahamas
Unlike New Providence Island, long and skinny Grand Bahama Island, with a western tip that curves and an eastern tip that curves south and ends in a string of cays, boasts great expanses of pristine nature and undeveloped beaches.
Nassau, The Bahamas
Just 75 miles from Palm Beach, New Providence Island is home to capital city Nassau, a magnet for cruise ship passengers and other visitors who want to eat well and shop even better.
Grand Cayman is one of the most prosperous islands in the region, thanks to its banking and other industries, but as with Bonaire, it’s the lure of world-class diving that attracts many of its visitors.
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Where to begin? Barcelo, Dreams, Iberostar, Paradisus, Secrets, Zoëtry and Hard Rock all have resorts here, in Punta Cana, as do many independents.
Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic
This, the second-largest city in the Dominican Republic, is an inland metropolis that, instead of offering beaches and golf, welcomes business travelers and other visitors to an untouristed destination with urban nightlife and culture.
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
This city has some of the most stunning sights in the Western Hemisphere, because this was where the Columbus family settled down and the Spanish crown established an empire.
Most people know that Haiti was an unstable country in the last days of the Duvalier regime and for a decade or so after it fell.
MoBay and its environs have plenty to offer, from duty-free shopping at City Centre to hand-made items at the Montego Craft Market, and from Rose Hall Great House, a historic sugar plantation, to the Rastafari cultural experience at Montego River Gardens.
Not only one of the most beautiful islands on earth, St. Lucia is famous for the twin Piton mountains on its southwest shore, and yes, you can climb them (hint: the shorter one is actually harder to scale because it’s steeper).
Perhaps because it’s half Dutch (the south) and half French (where the spelling is “Saint-Martin”), this island has two, if not more, personalities.
Shaped like the bottom half of a clamshell, this Turks and Caicos island lies southeast of The Bahamas, with which it was united at one point, and north of Cuba.
The most built-up of the three U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Thomas used to be known mainly for its nonstop shopping in Charlotte Amalie, where thousands of cruise ship passengers descend daily.
One of the world’s most popular playgrounds and the No. 1 international travel destination for North Americans, Cancun is blessed with some of Mexico’s most beautiful beaches and accommodations that best each other year after year.
The island of Cozumel, just off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, is home to the Mesoamerican Reef, the largest of its kind in the Americas—an underwater world of hundreds of fish, sea turtles and other creatures that put on a show for the many divers that come from around the world to explore its tunnels and caves.